Name: Andrea Hadjikyriacou
Living In: Los Angeles, CA
9-to-5 Title: Graduate Student Researcher at UCLA by day, Fashion blogger by Night/Weekends
Describe your style and your go to work outfits:
My style has definitely evolved as I have entered my late 20s - I used to be all about the flashy clubbing/going out dresses and outfits when I turned 21, and my closet still houses those dresses, although I am finding less and less use for those them (sad because I have spent so much money on them!). But nowadays, I look for casual yet still dressy outfits, and working in a research lab for my degree has made it a little difficult to be "stylish," which was the premise for starting my blog! I spend so many hours of the day and week in the lab, sometimes I don't have time to run home to change clothes for an event I want to go to, or to meet up with friends for happy hour. I manage to find ways to wear cute tops with jeans paired with comfy yet still stylish shoes, and sometimes just a plain outfit with lots of statement grabbing accessories really does the trick! I also go for cute prints and things I can match well - all while following rules for lab-appropriate clothes (for both UCLA rules and safety!). I love finding outfits I can easily transition to going out by just adding a blazer or a necklace! You will usually find me in jeans with a simple top and ankle booties running around the lab, or a cute dress paired with leggings that can be removed when I leave the lab!
WEARING TO WORK
Who do you follow for workwear inspiration?
I can't say I follow anyone specific, but I love going into stores like Zara and seeing what their new pieces are - usually things I missed in the Season trend reports (sometimes I don't have time to sleep nevermind check the trends for the season!), and I instantly fall in love. That's how my wardrobe gets inspired most of the time, but I am also on social media where I follow a lot of amazing fashion bloggers and companies, and seeing their outfit posts really puts ideas in my head of what to wear to work on days where I feel like I don't have any good clothes to wear! I love to shop, so what use is it to buy things and never wear them! Since I work in a lab where a lot of times scientists get a bad rep for being "nerds," I try to come up with cute outfits to wear myself to lab so I can still feel fashionable while getting my work done! And anyways, what's that quote, if you want to feel like a boss, you have to dress like a boss! It's all about your confidence and how you want to achieve your dreams!
Any tricks you have for getting ready quicker in the AM?
I have been trying to get up earlier so I can take my time to get ready, especially since I moved a little bit further away from my work which requires a 20-30 minute commute. I used to get out of bed and within half an hour rush to get to work. I realized it is not worth the stress, and going to bed a little bit earlier the night before (I am a night owl), can really help a lot! I also try to shower at night, which saves me a lot of time in the morning, especially since I have long hair that takes forever to dry! If I shower in the morning I need to give myself at least an extra 30 minutes to get ready... so if I sleep the night before that is more time to sleep in the morning (or so I tell myself!). I also try to plan what I'm going to wear the night before, or at least start thinking about it, especially if I have a certain event to go to or meeting, etc.
Where do you shop for workwear items?
I try not to spend too much money on clothes because I am on a tight student budget, but I do find myself splurging on myself every now and then. I recently started shopping more regularly at Zara and H&M, where I found a lot of professional work clothing that I have been wearing to important meetings, conferences, etc. I have also been to some thrift shops where you can find some really great pieces, sometimes designer, for a great deal! I also like to shop at some cheaper stores like Forever21, Charlotte Russe, etc., but I am starting to learn that their clothing doesn't last as long because of the quality of the materials they use. Like I said, my style is slowly evolving as I am entering my later 20s, and I can already see a shift!
WEARING TO BRUNCH
What are the big no-nos for your work environment?
As much as I love dresses and sandals, we aren't allowed to wear them in the lab. And seeing as how I spend 10-12 hours a day in lab, I realized I still want to look cute because, well, I wouldn't be a fashion blogger if I didn't love clothes. If I am adamant about wearing a dress, I find leggings and cute closed toed shoes I can wear - or a cute pair of jeans with a nice top. I just feel more comfortable in being covered up in the lab (and it's the rules). I see some people coming in with sandals and a short dress and then have to change - it's too much effort for me - I would rather come in something I feel fabulous in rather than have to change!
How do you dress on the weekend and what are your favorite activities?
I dress so much more casual on the weekends - when I don't have to go to lab, I wear dresses, sandals, shorts, cute tops, and I wear the cute things I buy that are definitely not lab appropriate! haha! I love to just relax with my boyfriend, having movie nights, hanging out with great friends, getting brunch, biking/running by the beach, working out, working on my blog, and just letting my mind refresh after a long week at work!
What does it mean to have it all for you?
I realized that being happy is the key to success, and appreciating what you have and spending time with those you love. You have to live in the moment and appreciate it, because in the end, it's your life, and work will never change - you will just have different positions, different duties, etc. You won't be able to redo the times you spend angry and unhappy. So having it all for me means living in the moment and enjoying where you are right now.
Have you read anything good lately?
When I was traveling recently, I read a really moving book describing the latest war in the Israel-Palestine conflict, and it brought me to tears, multiple times. Probably not the best book to read while traveling, but it really opened my eyes.
Your career advice?
Set a goal and do whatever you can to achieve it. Do what motivates you, and if you start something, be motivated enough to finish it with your 100%. Don't do something half finished just to say you did it!
Some careers seem pretty cookie-cutter and simple, but you would be amazed at how many roads there are to achieve the same goal!
Take any opportunity you can, and you never know if saying hello to this one person can open doors for you that you didn't know existed. Everyone says this, but definitely network as much as you can, and attend events where you can do this! Put yourself out there, you definitely won't regret it! Within the last year I have networked both career wise (science-related) and blogging wise (fashion related), and I have grown so much and have had the chance to do things I never thought I would, such as traveling abroad, attending invite only events in hollywood for the Oscars, among others! Apply for awards, for fellowships, for anything that interests you! The worse thing that can happen is they tell you NO or you get rejected, and the best thing that can happen is you get an opportunity you wouldn't have had!
Nothing is ever set in stone, and your career can go where ever you want it to, you just have to steer it the way you want to, just like driving a car! You can't move a car forward if you don't have the gas (energy) for it!